No, I absolutely feel the same, first time I saw Murphy that's what I thought of. The biggest pointer for me was the hatching on the noses.
I think because Shade was such a massive deal for me, as was Bachelo at the time, I picked up on it right away.
Probably the same for you if the Vertigo stuff was at a formative time for you.
Shade blew my mind as a teenager. I did hold it in higher esteem than Sandman at the time.
I should add that Sean Murphy alone is enough to sell this to me, I'm in.